There’s a lot of talk about the sit stand desk these days! Some are electrical while others have to be manually lifted. Most of our patients who are office workers will ask us about changing over to these new desks. They used to be quite expensive but now they are quite affordable. There’s been so much research and information on the bad effects of prolonged sitting that people are seriously wanting to sway the other way and stand instead! The Australian Physiotherapy association has numerous studies on this. But the big question is… are we just falling prey to another problem here!
It is important to remember that our bodies were designed to be moving. Hence being in one position for a long time is not good. Whether it is prolonged sitting or standing. Sitting and bending put a lot of pressure on the discs of our spine. However prolonged standing can put a lot of pressure on the joints of our spine, hips, knees and ankles! So although sit stand desk provides us with an alternative, it shouldn’t be used for a prolonged time. The best strategy is really to change our position every 30 minutes. Be it sitting or standing or walking it’s important to keep changing the position. This reduces the pressure on any one structure of our body. The role of regular exercise cannot be debated in preventing repetitive injuries due to work.
It is also important to have the computer at the right level to the keyboard while sitting. The back should always be rested against the back of the chair rather than sitting on the edge of the chair. The arms should always be rested closer to the body so you are not reaching for the keyboard. You shouldn’t be using 2 screens. If you are , make sure you turn your body and not just your head. Physiotherapists are the best health professionals to assess your work station and advice on modifying it.